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October 11, 2004

ULM Student and Faculty Member Report on Hurricane Frances

Hurricane Frances, one of four hurricanes to impact Florida this year, made landfall as a category 2 storm on September 5, with maximum sustained winds estimated at 105 mph. In an effort to gain knowledge about the behavior of hurricane winds and turbulence at landfall, a faculty member and undergraduate student in the Atmospheric Sciences Program at the University of Louisiana at Monroe placed two meteorologically-instrumented towers and video recording equipment near the region of anticipated landfall prior to the hurricane's arrival.

Faculty member Rob Howard and student Scott Blair will present their findings from the field during Hurricane Frances Thursday, October 14, at 3:30 p.m. in the Airway Sciences Auditorium, room 134. Everyone is invited to this free event.

The hurricane's life cycle will be presented through forecasting, map analysis, videography, and an examination of the data collected. The two will report how their measuring equipment recorded wind gusts exceeding 86 mph and 82 mph at 6 feet above ground level from the Fort Pierce and Floridana Beach locations, while the minimum barometric pressure logged at Fort Pierce was 966 mb.

Videography documents the deployment process and some of the hazards associated with tropical cyclone landfalls. Significant damage was observed nearby at both tower locations during the post-storm tower retrieval.

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